Nadine Kanso has a passion for all things creative. Designer, photographer and journalist, she was born in Beirut, Lebanon where she gained degrees in communication arts and advertising design. Proud of her Arab heritage, Kanso began looking for ways to express what it means to be an Arab in today's world and to try and capture the modern Arab identity.Her work has been exhibited locally within the GCC and also internationally; in 2006 her photographs were part of an exhibition entitled "Arabize Me" at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She has since had various collections auctioned at Phillips de Pury & Company in London, Christie's in 2010 and Bonham's Dubai sale in 2009 and 2011.
Stepping out from behind the camera, she has since turned her hand to jewellery design. "Jewellery (like photography) is a way to reveal your character and style. Both mediums for me as an artist are strong means of expressing my ideas about issues I personally think need to be tackled and remembered," says Kanso. Using 18-carat gold and the Arabic alphabet as inspiration, her "Bil Arabi" series (which translates to "In Arabic"), is a collection of rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets that draw on the beauty and calligraphic shape of the Arabic alphabet but with a glamorous modern twist. A huge hit at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival, Kanso's collection has been seen adorning the necks, ears and hands of celebrities such as Julianne Moore, Zaha Hadid, Evan Rachel Wood and Aimee Mullins. She talks to Jemma Nicholls about her life and inspirations.
MY PERSONAL STYLE SIGNIFIER IS… East meets West. I have an edgy look with an Arabian touch. BEING STYLISH MEANS… having your own character and identity, being original. FIVE WORDS TO DESCRIBE ME ARE… passionate creative friendly, bold eccentric. MY FAVOURITE WAY TO RELAX IS… sitting in my studio doing fun collages and listening to music. THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS… to try and always be modest. MY GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR IS… raising my children as good people. THE GUILTIEST PLEASURE I WOULD NEVER FORGO IS… carbs! I eat them without guilt. I adore pasta in all its forms and I love a fresh French baguette.